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Resistant to Magic

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"Thrice-cursed Spell Resistance! It's almost like the universe is trying to deliberately force some form of arbitrary equality between those of us who can reshape matter with our thoughts and those who cannot."
Vaarsuvius, The Order of the Stick

One advantage magic has — provided it's the right situation — is those who are Weak to Magic. For various reasons, magic is something that puts them at a disadvantage, and the user at an advantage.

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On the other hand, magic isn't always the best ability to have — beyond counter-spells that may exist, there are also beings who, in some way or another, resist magic.

See also Mage Killer. Related to No-Sell, though these characters are generally resistant to magic rather than immune to it. Sometimes overlaps with Anti-Magic, a power that negates other powers. Occasionally featured as part of Antagonist Abilities.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fairy Tail: Acnologia, the Dark Dragon, is The Dreaded not only for being powerful but due to the fact that he eats magic meaning any spell thrown at him will cause no damage in the slightest.
  • Crimvael from Interspecies Reviewers has a resistance to all types of magic except for darkness because he's an angel.

    Comic Books 
  • In Shadowpact, Joshua Coldrake, the warden at the Dark Tower prison for magical criminals, is able to resist and dampen magical energy.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Youma, who eat magic, appear to be effectively immune to it if they're hungry enough, eating it before it can hurt them.
  • Sora's Misadventures in Equestria: In "Boast Busters", Twilight's testing Sora for magical resistance:
    Twilight: Well, you have magical powers, so you must be resistant to some magical spells.
  • Story Shuffle: Dragons are resistant to magic and get even more so as they age.
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    Literature 
  • The Cosmere's magic systems are all ultimately fueled by the divine power of "Investiture", and Invested items are much harder to affect with other magic. For example, in Mistborn, only the strongest allomancers can affect a person's metal ear piercings due to the wearer's innate Investiture, and in The Bands of Mourning, the titular artifact is so powerfully invested that it can't be perceived at all with Aura Vision.
  • In the Discworld series, Dwarfs have a natural resistance to magic because of such a long association with iron that it has got into the very genetic stuff of dwarfdom.
  • Harry Potter: Certain creatures have a degree of resistance to spells. Giants and half-giants in particular are known for shrugging off spellcraft aimed at them with ease, which is easily demonstrated by Hagrid when he wades right into a melee with Death Eaters and tanks curse after curse without slowing down.
  • In Piers' Anthony's A Spell for Chameleon, the protagonist's Talent is a total immunity to hostile magic (strictly speaking, he cannot be harmed by magic). It's so good at it that it'll hide behind coincidences so nobody will think to use Anti-Magic on him, such as tripping Bink on a rock before he brains himself on one of the local bully's forcewalls or making him guess the password to make a magical guardian ignore him. It's so subtly hidden that it looks like he has no magic, which is the problem. The Storm King decreed that nobody who lacks magic may live in Xanth.
  • Given a Decon-Recon Switch in The Wide-Awake Princess. Annie's older sister is Sleeping Beauty. Devastated by what the curse could potentially do to their daughter, when Annie was born, her parents asked a fairy blessing her to make sure nothing similar could happen to her. Unfortunately, all the fairy could do was make it so no magic can touch Annie—including good magic. It also affects those in close proximity to her, which makes her an outcast among the nobles, since a lot of them have magically-induced gifts, such as beauty, grace, or musical talent, that disappear if Annie gets too close. Even her own mother never hugs her. However, being unaffected by magic comes in handy when her sister pricks her finger and the eternal sleep curse hits; she remains awake and can leave the castle to get help, and while she can't use magic to help her on her quest, it also can't hinder her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Some humans in Forever Knight were partly or fully resistant to the vampires’ ability to hypnotize and push suggestions. Natalie resisted Nick although the older and stronger LaCroix was able to make her forget, and Schanke was a partial resister.
  • Grimm: Being a Grimm amongst several other advantages also gives them some resistance to some forms of magic. Unlike Wesen and Humans they can resist the addictive effects of the Coins of Zakynthos.
  • The X-Files: In the episode, "Pusher," The titular Robert Patrick "Pusher" Modell is an assassin able to influence and mentally push people into doing his bidding, and uses this power to infiltrate the FBI for information on Mulder. Assistant Director Skinner recognizes and fights him, and seems completely immune to Modell's power unlike everyone else in the episode.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chronicles of Darkness: The supernatural Splats have a "power stat" that they add as a bonus to dice rolls to resist supernatural effects, making them much more likely than Muggles to No-Sell magic and other powers.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In 1st and 2nd Edition Advanced D&D, creatures have a trait called Magic Resistance which gives them a percentage chance of not being affected by magic.
      • In 1st Edition, this percentage was based on the Character Level of the source of the magic being 11th level. If the source was above 11th level, the percentage decreased and the creature had less protection. If it were below 11th level, the percentage increased and the creature was better protected.
      • In 2nd Edition, Magic Resistance was no longer dependent on the Character Level of the magic.
    • In 1st and 2nd Edition Advanced D&D, certain Player Character races have a resistance to magic separate from Magic Resistance.
      • Dwarves, gnomes and halflings have a bonus to their saving throws against certain magical attacks (wands, staves, rods and spells) depending on their Constitution ability score.
      • Elves have a 90% resistance to Charm and Sleep magic, and half-elves have a 30% resistance to such magic.
    • 3rd Edition: Magic items are generally allowed to roll a saving throw for a chance to resist harmful spells, whereas non-magical matter is automatically affected.
    • 5th Edition:
      • Paladins who take the Oath of the Ancients gain a protective aura that halves the damage they and nearby allies suffer from spells.
      • Gnomes have the racial trait Gnome Cunning, which grants them advantage on intelligence, wisdom, and charisma saving throws against magic and increases the odds of them being able to shrug off mind-affecting spells.
      • Abjuration wizards gain the Spell Resistance class feature at Level 14, which both halves the damage they take from spells and allows them to roll their saving throws against spells twice and use the better result.
    • In D&D 3.0/3.5th edition as well as Pathfinder, characters and monsters with Spell Resistance (SR) have a chance of No Selling any spell (except for a select few) cast against them. Specifically, the caster needs to make a 1d20 + spellcaster level check against the target's SR value, otherwise the spell just bounces off — and even if it doesn't, the target is still entitled to any regular saving throws the spell allows afterwards. Enemy SR can completely shut down low-level casters, because it usually starts in the high teens and there are very few ways to improve your rolls to overcome SR beyond simply leveling up, forcing casters to focus on indirect damage, like manipulating the environment or buffing their non-magical party members.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • Dwarves were designed by the Old Ones to be extremely resilient and are much less affected by magic than other races. Their own magic is much less potent, but also far safer to use than the volatile Winds of Magic, and they're much more resistant to mutation and the influence of Chaos than humans are.
    • Stone trolls are a breed of trolls that lives in high mountains and feeds on rocks. Over time, they absorb the natural resilience of stone into themselves; besides an armored, rocky skin, this also gives them an innate resistance to magic.
    • Halflings have an innate insulation against Chaos, making them more likely to resist magic and many other supernatural effects. The trade-off is that they themselves can never learn magic.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tau have very little psychic presence, unlike humans, and so the corrupting nature of the Warp has very little effect on them. This also has the side effect of them disbelieving the existence of Chaos daemons, thinking them to be a highly-unpleasant species of alien allying with insane humans. In Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, this leads to O'Kais being entirely unable to hear Eliphas' psychic taunts, thinking it's just static.
    • Orks are similarly resistant to the Warp (or possibly too stupid to be affected by it). In Dark Crusade, Gorgutz is able to yell back at Eliphas' voice in his head.

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Because of the Magic Versus Science rules that govern the world (Magick twists nature, while technology relies on and exploits it), technologists and powerful machines subtly reinforce the laws of physics in the areas immediately around them, making magick less effective in their presence and in some cases stopping simple spells from functioning entirely.
  • Bloons Super Monkey 2 has Ceramic Bloons, which are immune to damage from Magic. This is a bit of a Logical Weakness, as the Magic branch's spells are lightning- or fire- based, and clay ceramic is heat resistant and a terrible conductor of electricity.
  • In Bloons Tower Defense 6, the Purple Bloons have an immunity to energy or magic-based attacks. These include the Wizard Monkey's magic bolts, the Druid's lighting, and the Super Monkey's plasma.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • The Barrier status reduces magic damage by a third. The three girls in the party can find a dress that automatically gives them this status.
    • Different defensive gear reduces elemental damage taken by various amounts, with the Elemental Aegis nullifying all elemental damage (but can only be equipped by Lucca).
  • Dota 2:
    • Anti-Mage is Exactly What It Says on the Tin — a hero that is strong against magic. He has the skill Counterspell which not only increases his magic resistance but also allow him to gain a shield that reflect any single-target spells that tries to afflict him.
    • While every hero has the same amount of magic resistance, Pudge and Viper has skills that increases their magic resistance.
    • With talents, a hero can obtain one of two choices that increases their power upon reaching Level 10, 15, 20, and 25. Of the heroes that has a choice of increasing their magic resistance, it includes Death Prophet, Bane, Enchantress, Underlord, Vengeful Spirit, Techies, Brewmaster, Elder Titan, Necrophos, Clockwork, and Earthshaker.
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • Anub'arak has Harden Carapace, which grants a small shield and a large amount of Spell Armor on a short cooldown. A late-game talent called The Traitor King can even increase his overall Armor to 75.
    • In a lesser degree, Spell Shield is a generic Talent available for some heroes that grants a nice chunk of Spell Armor for a short duration upon being hit. Lunara and Thrall have stronger variants named Greater Spell Shield and Spirit Shield respectively.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, a Dwarf Noble or Dwarf Commoner player, as well as dwarven party members Oghren and Sigrun, has increased resistance to magical attacks, reflecting that Dwarves have a natural immunity to magic due to their proximity to lyrium deposits. The trade-off, though, is that they can never become mages themselves, ever. This is carried over to Dragon Age: Inquisition, where dwarves have an innate twenty-five percent magic defense stat before equipment or base stats are factored in. Also, the Templar Order provides training that boosts magical defenses, so warrior characters who take the Templar Prestige Class have abilities that grant them magic resistance.
  • The Elder Scrolls series: The Bretons are a race of Uneven Hybrids, born from eugenics experiments carried out in Tamriel's ancient past by Aldmeri elves who bred with their human slaves. The combination of human hardiness and elven magical affinity in their blood makes them more naturally able to resist hostile magic than most races.
  • The Final Fantasy franchise has the recurring spell Shell, which reduces damage done by magic attacks on whoever it's used on.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The Resistance stat determines how much damage a unit will take from magical attacks, with the higher the resistance, the better they are at tanking spells.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, mages always have a pretty high resistance to magical damage, but each of the houses also has one non-mage who has a very high resistance to magic, more or less making them the party's default Mage Killer.
  • Several enemies in the Kingdom Rush series have Magic Resistance, which makes them take less damage from Mage Towers (that normally pierce all physical armor). Of note are the Bluegales from Frontiers and the Blue Ancient Ghost from Vengeance, who take it further by being completely immune to magic damage.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon with a high Special Defense stat are better able to resist special-based attacks apart from the franchise's usual Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors. Psychic- and Fairy- types usually tend to have high Special Defence.
    • As part of development for the second generation games, the Steel-type was designed as resistant to Psychic-type moves (alongside the Dark-type, which is immune to their attacks) in order to better balance the types - Psychic being what was at the time the franchise's closest to magic. Later generations have introduced the much more overtly magical Fairy-type, whose attacks are resisted by Steel-types, and Steel is in turn one of the type's weaknesses. Ironically, Steel-types tend to be also Weak to Magic, as many of them have much lower Special Defense than Physical Defense.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, because he's a Dashade, Khem Val has a high resistance to Force powers.
  • Warcraft III:
    • The Resistant Skin passive ability makes a unit take less damage from spells and makes it immune to certain high-level spells such as Charm (instantly converts the unit to the caster's side) and Transmute (instakills the unit and gives the caster gold).
    • Spell Immunity, as its name implies, makes the unit immune to all hostile magic (including Magic-type attacks) and most allied magic as well (healing magic can still target them, but beneficial buffs can't). It's mostly found on high-level monsters like dragons, magnataurs (mammoth-men) and golems, but the Night Elf Dryad and Faerie Dragon both have due to being their faction's Anti-Magic unit. The Necklace of Spell Immunity gives this trait to a hero carrying it.
    • Magic Defend is a Dummied Out ability (though available in the editor) that would likely have been given to Spell Breakers, allowing them to selectively have spell immunity at the cost of moving slower (in the final game the have the always-on version).
    • Inverted with the Ethereal buff, which makes the target untargetable by physical attacks but more vulnerable to spells.

    Web Comics 
  • Dominic Deegan:
    • Dex is a Resistant, meaning that he can neither be harmed nor healed with magic. It's treated as a rare disability since it's nearly impossible for him to get health insurance.
    • Scarlatti the Duelist fights with a sword made of Resistite, which causes incurable wounds. In the sense that the recipient can't just slap a Cure on it and be back in the fight. They have to heal normally, causing lifelong impairment if he, say, rips out the muscles in their thumb to make it impossible to hold a sword, for example (which he's very fond of doing).
    • The Infernomancer of the Demon of Chaos is immune to White Magic because "Demons/Infernomancers are weak to White Magic" is a rule, and his patron's power comes from breaking rules.
    • Similarly, the Infernomancer of the Demon of Wounds has the power to cause wounds that don't ever heal under any circumstances (a power his patron, Karnak, shares), making the recipient resistant to White Magic.
  • In Draconia Chronicles, dragons come in a quintet of subtypes; fire, water, earth, lightning, and light. They're not just immune to the mundane versions of their element, both natural and generated, mother and child will cast cantrips at each other just for fun.
  • Harpy Gee: Due to an incident in the past involving her pet Goblin Cat, Pumpkin, who ate up all her magical power, Harpy ended up losing her ability to cast plant magic. But a trade off is that magical attacks have no effect on her either.
  • Unsounded:
    • Downplayed with the Copper caste: they're born with a very weak connection to the Background Magic Field, making it slower and more difficult for spells to target them.
    • Anti-pymary barriers comprise dozens of different materials folded together in thin layers. Since a spell needs to specify the substance it's targeting in order to affect it directly, spellwrights can theoretically peel them apart one layer at a time, but it's prohibitively slow and difficult in practice.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Geochelone Aerios (Terraspin's species) cannot be harmed by Mana, the source of magic in this universe.
  • The Fairly OddParents: there are various creatures that are resistant or even completely impervious to magic such as dragons. This can even include beings who were created using magic on account of the becoming too powerful for the magic to affect them. When this happens Timmy ends up having to look for another solution to the problem.

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